La. on the offensive against Fort Polk cutbacks
NEW ORLEANS - Southwest Louisiana is going full bore to convince the Pentagon that Fort Polk is too important to Army training and the local economy to lose nearly half its troops.
An Army impact study says Fort Polk is among 21 posts that could lose as many as two-thirds of their soldiers if the Army reduces its overall force to 490,000 from 562,000 by 2020.
The Army has 51 bases nationwide. The study covers those that would lose more than 1,000 soldiers.
For Fort Polk, projections are a loss of 5,300 soldiers, nearly 49 percent of those now stationed there.
Mayor Robert Rose says the reduction would cripple nearby Leesville's economy. More than half its $9.7 million annual budget comes from sales taxes, much of it from people tied to the base.
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